Economic picture slightly less favourable

© Hollandse Hoogte / Flip Franssen
According to the CBS Business Cycle Tracer, the economic situation in October is slightly less favourable than in the previous month. Statistics Netherlands (CBS) reports that nine of the thirteen indicators in the Tracer as published mid-October are performing above the level of their long-term trend.

The CBS Business Cycle Tracer is a tool used to monitor the situation and the developments in the Dutch economy. It uses thirteen key macro-economic indicators. Together, these provide a coherent macro-economic picture which is based on CBS figures published over the past month or quarter. It does not represent the situation at the level of individual households, businesses or regions.

Business Cycle Tracer indicator (unweighted average of the indicators in the CBS Business Cycle Tracer) (distance to the long-term trend (=0))
YearMonthcycle
2012January-0.04
February-0.09
March-0.12
April-0.15
May-0.23
June-0.29
July-0.35
August-0.46
September-0.54
October-0.62
November-0.74
December-0.84
2013January-0.93
February-1.05
March-1.14
April-1.2
May-1.27
June-1.29
July-1.29
August-1.28
September-1.22
October-1.15
November-1.07
December-0.99
2014January-0.92
February-0.87
March-0.84
April-0.83
May-0.82
June-0.81
July-0.8
August-0.79
September-0.78
October-0.76
November-0.73
December-0.69
2015January-0.65
February-0.59
March-0.53
April-0.48
May-0.42
June-0.37
July-0.33
August-0.29
September-0.26
October-0.26
November-0.24
December-0.22
2016January-0.23
February-0.2
March-0.2
April-0.19
May-0.15
June-0.13
July-0.1
August-0.05
September-0.01
October0.03
November0.09
December0.13
2017January0.17
February0.23
March0.28
April0.32
May0.37
June0.4
July0.43
August0.48
September0.52
October0.56
November0.61
December0.65
2018January0.69
February0.74
March0.79
April0.81
May0.83
June0.84
July0.82
August0.82
September0.81
October0.78
November0.76
December0.72
2019January0.67
February0.63
March0.59
April0.55
May0.54
June0.53
July0.5
August0.48
September0.45
October0.41

Consumer and producer confidence down

In September, consumers were less confident than in August. Confidence among Dutch manufacturers also declined in September. Both consumer and producer confidence are above the long-term average.

Consumer and producer confidence (seasonally adjusted) (average of the component questions)
YearMonthConsumer confidenceProducer confidence
2014January-60.7
February-2-0.1
March11.1
April40.3
May60.7
June60.7
July61.2
August20
September-2-0.2
October12
November-22.4
December-43.4
2015January-22.8
February-12
March71.4
April103.3
May114.1
June144.6
July133.7
August133.5
September113.8
October122.4
November144
December133
2016January113.2
February73.1
March23.9
April64.7
May74.4
June115.4
July95.1
August91.2
September123.4
October174.3
November213.4
December214.7
2017January216
February227
March247.8
April268.3
May236.1
June237.2
July256.6
August265.4
September238.5
October238.2
November229.1
December258.9
2018January2410.3
February2310.9
March249.5
April258.2
May239.8
June237.7
July236.3
August215.9
September195.7
October155.9
November137.2
December97.5
2019January15.8
February-26.3
March-46.1
April-36.7
May-34.7
June03.3
July 23.9
August03.9
September-23.3

Exports, household consumption and investments growing

The total volume of goods exports grew by 2.5 percent in August year-on-year. Growth was higher than in the previous month. In August 2019, exports of petroleum and chemical products increased in particular. On the other hand, exports of electro-technical equipment was down again.

Dutch consumers spent 1.7 percent more in July 2019 than in July 2018. This is a higher growth rate than in the previous month. Consumers mainly spent more on home furnishings and household appliances.

The volume of investments in tangible fixed assets was 4.4 percent up in July 2019 relative to the same month last year. This was particularly due to higher investments in buildings and machinery.

Manufacturing output again lower

The average daily output generated by the Dutch manufacturing industry was 0.8 percent down in August 2019 compared to the same month last year. Output declined for the sixth consecutive month.

Number of bankruptcies hardly changed

The number of corporate bankruptcies has hardly changed. There were 4 fewer bankruptcies in September 2019 than in the previous month. The trend has been relatively stable in recent years.

Number of jobs continues to grow

In Q2 2019, the number of full-time and part-time jobs held by employees and self-employed rose by 42 thousand to 10.675 million jobs relative to the previous quarter. Over a period of twelve months, the number of jobs grew by 201 thousand. This is an increase of 0.4 percent.

The number of jobs has grown for five consecutive years. Since Q2 2014, it has increased by 947 thousand. This job growth peaked in Q4 2017 at over 71 thousand.

The total number of hours worked by employees and self-employed reached over 3.4 billion in Q2 2019. When adjusted for seasonal effects, this is 0.5 percent more than in the previous quarter.

The number of unemployed according to the ILO definition rose by 7 thousand per month on average over a period of three months to reach 321 thousand in August 2019. This means 3.5 percent of the labour force (aged 15 to 74 years) were unemployed, up from 3.4 percent in July.

In Q2 2019, the number of job vacancies rose to a new high once again: 284 thousand, up by 6 thousand compared to the previous quarter. The number has grown in each consecutive quarter for six years now. There are currently three times more vacancies than at the lowest point in 2013.

Due to the decline in unemployment and increase in the number of vacancies, tension in the labour market has risen to a new high. In Q2 2019, there were on average 93 job vacancies per 100 unemployed. In Q1 2019, there were 88 vacancies per 100 unemployed.

GDP (volume), seasonally adjusted (2010=100)
yearquarterindex
2012Quarter 1100.8
Quarter 2100.9
Quarter 3100.5
Quarter 499.8
2013Quarter 1100.1
Quarter 299.9
Quarter 3100.5
Quarter 4101.1
2014Quarter 1101
Quarter 2101.6
Quarter 3101.9
Quarter 4102.8
2015Quarter 1103.4
Quarter 2103.7
Quarter 3104.1
Quarter 4104.1
2016Quarter 1105.1
Quarter 2105.3
Quarter 3106.5
Quarter 4107.4
2017Quarter 1108
Quarter 2108.9
Quarter 3109.7
Quarter 4110.5
2018Quarter 1111.2
Quarter 2112
Quarter 3112.2
Quarter 4112.8
2019Quarter 1113.3
Quarter 2113.8

0.4 percent GDP growth in Q2 2019

Gross domestic product (GDP) rose by 0.4 percent in Q2 2019 relative to the previous quarter, according to the second estimate of GDP conducted by CBS. Growth was mainly due to investments in fixed assets and household consumption. GDP grew by 1.8 percent relative to Q2 2018.

On Thursday 14 November 2019, CBS will publish the first estimate of GDP and employment over Q3 2019.

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